The first night of Pesach was wonderful. It was a time to remember what G-D has done for us, how He delivered His people out of Egypt from slavery and bondage.  We had many invitations to spend the Seder with those we have met and have become friends with. We chose to go to Y’hoshua and Shula’s home. Y’hoshua speaks English and that was a wonderful blessing.

During Pesach, as we celebrate our deliverance and a new beginning, the custom is to give gifts to those we love. We were given two wonderful leather bound Haggadah, the prayer book
used during the Pesach Seder. It is a beautiful book with beautiful art work on each page. The cool thing about it is, it has Hebrew on the right hand pages and English on the left, so it made it easy to read along. Y’hoshua was gracious enough to have us join in the reading… in English of course, and once again we were made to feel very much at home and part of the family.

The following day we were invited back for the noon meal of roasted lamb. Y’hoshua started the BBQ at nine thirty in the morning and was still at it by two thirty when we arrived. Hospitality here in Sderot in like no where else I know. It was a wonderful time with all their family members making their way to Y’hoshua’s home.  By eight o’clock that evening we were on our way home.

The Joy of Pesach was dashed as Friday afternoon, about four hours before Shabbat began, we were notified that Hannah, Shula’s mom had passed away and that the funeral was in two hours; she was eighty six. A Jewish funeral in Israel in considerably different than in the states, but the one thing that is in common are the tears that are shed when you lose a loved one.

Because Hannah died at the beginning of Pesach, the customary period of sitting Shiva (the initial seven day mourning period) will be postponed until after Pesach. G-D has commanded us to celebrate His feast with joy and so we will do that the best we can only to mourn after Pesach. Please keep Y’hoshua, Shula, her brothers and sisters, their children and grand children in your prayers.